So­cial probs a bar­rier to get­ting work

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Edel Ke­nealy

Bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment such as dis­abil­i­ties, health prob­lems and home­less­ness are more preva­lent in Cam­bus­lang than Ruther­glen.

The Depart­ment of Work and Pen­sions (DWP) has re­vealed peo­ple in Cam­bus­lang are fre­quently fac­ing greater ob­sta­cles than their coun­ter­parts when try­ing to get a job.

Sus anMcGhee, DWP cus­tomer ser­vice op­er­a­tions man­ager, spoke to the Re­former as the un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures for De­cem­ber 2016 were pub­lished.

The fig­ures show the to­tal num­ber of peo­ple in re­ceipt of job seek­ers al­lowance or uni­ver­sal credit in De­cem­ber in Cam­bus­lang was 435.

In Ruther­glen 445 peo­ple were in re­ceipt of those ben­e­fits.

The num­bers are largely the same as those pub­lished in Au­gust of last year when un­em­ploy­ment stood at 885 across the area as a whole.

Ms McGhee said work was be­ing done to sup­port peo­ple back into em­ploy­ment and said there was a par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on help­ing peo­ple over­come chal­lenges in Cam­bus­lang.

She said: “In Ruther­glen they do have quite a buoy­ant and steady re­duc­tion in case loads and they do have, in terms of cus­tomer out­comes, a high per­cent­age of cus­tomers go­ing into work.

“In Cam­bus lang there is a higher level of de­pri­va­tion. There’s also a lot of home­less­ness in that area.

“We have set up links with community or­gan­i­sa­tions to tackle that and put in more sup­port and de­vel­oped strate­gies to iden­tify and sup­port home­less cus­tomers in that area.

“We also have a higher per­cent­age of cus­tomers that have health is­sues, we are try­ing to iden­tify what their con­di­tions are and its about sup­port­ing cus­tomers to get to a level where they are able to en­ter the labour mar­ket.”

Ex­plain­ing she is speak­ing to em­ploy­ers about the health and dis­abil­ity agenda within the work­place, Ms McGhee added: “We are rais­ing the level of awareness with em­ploy­ers about look­ing at the cus­tomer as an in­di­vid­ual, but also look­ing at what sup­port is avail­able to the em­ploy­ers in terms of work­place adap­ta­tions.”

Ms McGhee also en­cour­aged peo­ple to look at the un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures over the course of a year, which shows un­em­ploy­ment has fallen by 27 per cent.

There are 193 fewer peo­ple sign­ing on in De­cem­ber 2016 when com­pared to the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year.

A high per­cent­age of go­ing into work in Ruther­glen DWP

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